September 26, 2010

Gay Marriage

It may be hard to believe, but sometimes I actually get fired up about something as a result of watching a show like The Real Housewives...

I turned on Thursday's episode of the D.C. series earlier this evening and watched Stacie and her husband struggle with the idea that gay people should have the right to marry because their religion teaches them that marriage is between a man and a woman. When the gay marriage issue became a big deal as a result of the California proposition, I asked my husband what he thought of gay marriage. He answered that he had no problem with civil unions, but that marriage should be unique to a man and a woman. I don't recall that he had a particularly stellar argument to back up his belief, but he's entitled to his opinions.

I have no problem whatsoever with gay people marrying like straight people do. Two consenting adults should be allowed to marry if that is what they so desire. What interests me is the vehemence against this simple, straightforward, democratic concept. My question to those who decry the concept of gays marrying is this: "How does the marriage of two men or two women hurt you?" Since, obviously, it doesn't do anything real other than perhaps offending sensibilities, why does it matter so very, very much?

We don't live in a theocracy; I'm allowed to be a Jew just as my neighbor is allowed to be a Christian, so why should somebody's religious beliefs effect somebody else's rights and liberties? If you believe a marriage should only be between a man and a woman, that's fine, but why should your beliefs take precedence over other people's beliefs if laws are not being broken, nobody is being hurt, and there is consent? If two adult men want to marry, why is it anyone else's concern? Mind your own business, I say. Or, if you must, turn the other cheek.

This is no slippery slope; two men or two women who agree as adults to enter into marriage does not mean that next year it'll be chill for the guy at the CVS to marry a goat...or a minor. Marriage isn't doing so great as an institution these days with only straight people allowed to partake that somehow gay people will "ruin" it. It's not as though we force divorced people who have broken God's Holy Sacrament to wear scarlet embroidered "D's" on their clothing, nor do we force childless couples to break up because they're not pro-creating.

Just because something is a tradition doesn't make it right. Separate but equal never works, and there's always discrimination behind it.



Suzi McGowen said...

I totally agree. If the argument against gay marriage is a religious one, I don't think it should be brought into a US legal discussion. "Freedom of religion" and all.

However, I may not be able to clearly see both sides of this issue, since I'm avidly pro gray marriage :)

Vicky said...

I may be staying away from the political hotspots right now but I'm remaining informed on the alarming number of attempts to limit one's rights based upon certain religious beliefs (or lack thereof). I want to say "get a life" and quit wasting your time judging others.

Also, we have two very dear friends who will soon be tying the knot and it will be a same-sex marriage. Will it take place in our conservative state? No. But we will be traveling to the northeast to attend what we know is a true celebration.

Laurie Gold said...

It's just such a total non-issue for me that I have trouble understanding and tolerating those who believe otherwise. People are people; sexual orientation is not a choice. If two adults consent to marry, end of story.

Blythe said...

This is something I feel strongly about too. It was one of the pivotal issues that made me leave my lifelong (35 years) religion. I was content to stay on the books for awhile for the sake of my family after that, but I was so furious after prop 8 that I went through all the hassle of formally resigning, which included an irate letter that I'm sure no one really read about the type of values I would be teaching my family (tolerance and love rather than hatred). Actually, I am so impassioned on this subject that I really just can't discuss it at all with someone who doesn't agree with me.

Laurie Gold said...

Blythe, I'm totally with you there. It's one of my huge hot button issues. I have others, of course - I almost just blogged about Roger Cohen's NYT op-ed piece today when I realized I'm on a news ban specifically so I don't blow my lid every single day.